U-118 under attack by aircraft from USS Bogue
|Ordered:||31 January 1939|
|Laid down:||1 March 1940|
|Launched:||3 May 1941|
|Commissioned:||23 September 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk on 12 June 1943 by US aircraft|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Submarine minelayer|
|Height:||10.20 m (33 ft 6 in)|
|Draught:||4.71 m (15 ft 5 in)|
|Test depth:||Calculated crush depth: 220 m (720 ft)|
|Complement:||5 officers, 47 enlisted|
|Service record |
She was ordered on 31 January 1939 and laid down on 1 March 1940 at the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel, as yard number 617. She was launched on 23 September 1941 and commissioned on 6 December under the command of Korvettenkapitän Werner Czygan.
After a period of training as part of the 4th U-boat Flotilla, U-118 was assigned to the front-line as part of the 10th U-boat Flotilla on 1 October 1942. She was reassigned to the 12th flotilla a month later on 1 November. She was a member of three wolfpacks.
U-118's first patrol began on 19 September 1942 with her departure from Kiel. Her route took her across the North Sea, through the 'gap' between Iceland and the Faroe Islands and into the Atlantic Ocean. The boat was attacked south of Iceland by an aircraft on 29 September which caused only slight damage. She reached her destination, which was Lorient in occupied France, on 16 October.
She carried out a short transit voyage from Lorient to Brest on 12 and 13 December 1942.
The boat's third patrol was the longest, but most successful. Departing Brest on 25 January 1943, she sailed west of Gibraltar, where she sank Baltonia, Empire Mordred and Mary Slessor on 7 February and damaged Duero with a mine on the 10th. She was also responsible for the sinking of the corvette HMCS Weyburn on 22 February. The Canadian ship struck a mine that U-118 had laid on the 1st. Despite best efforts by the crew to remove depth charge primers, two exploded when the ship sank, killing men in the water and disabling a nearby destroyer. She returned to France, to Bordeaux, on 26 February.
4th patrol and loss
U-118 had been at sea less than a month when she was attacked by two aircraft west of the Canary Islands followed by a further eight planes from the carrier USS Bogue. Following a heavy expenditure of bombs, .50" and .30" ammunition; the U-boat exploded into two parts, oil and debris were flung into the air. 16 men survived to be picked up by the escort vessel USS Osmond Ingram.
She was sunk in position
U-118 took part in three wolfpacks, namely.
- Wotan (5–7 October 1942)
- Westwall (28–30 November 1942)
- Rochen (13–14 February 1943)
Summary of raiding history
|7 February 1943||Baltonia||United Kingdom||2,013||Sunk (Mine)|
|7 February 1943||Empire Mordred||United Kingdom||7,024||Sunk (Mine)|
|7 February 1943||Mary Slessor||United Kingdom||5,027||Sunk (Mine)|
|10 February 1943||Duero||Spain||2,008||Damaged (Mine)|
|22 February 1943||HMCS Weyburn||Royal Canadian Navy||925||Sunk (Mine)|
|22 February 1943||Thorsholm||Norway||9,937||Damaged (Mine)|
- Kemp 1999, pp. 124-125.
- Kemp, pp. 124-125.
- Gröner 1985, p. 116.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type XB boat U-118". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "War Patrols by German U-boat U-118". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "Ships hit by U-118". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net.
- Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). German U-boat commanders of World War II : a biographical dictionary. Translated by Brooks, Geoffrey. London, Annapolis, Md: Greenhill Books, Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-186-6.
- Busch, Rainer; Röll, Hans-Joachim (1999). Deutsche U-Boot-Verluste von September 1939 bis Mai 1945 [German U-boat losses from September 1939 to May 1945]. Der U-Boot-Krieg (in German). IV. Hamburg, Berlin, Bonn: Mittler. ISBN 3-8132-0514-2.
Gröner, Erich; Jung, Dieter; Maass, Martin (1991). U-boats and Mine Warfare Vessels. German Warships 1815–1945. 2. Translated by Thomas, Keith; Magowan, Rachel. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-593-4.
- Kemp, Paul (1999). U-Boats Destroyed - German Submarine Losses in the World Wars. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 1-85409-515-3.
- Hofmann, Markus. "U 118". Deutsche U-Boote 1935-1945 - u-boot-archiv.de (in German). Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- Helgason, Guðmundur. "The Type II boat U-118". German U-boats of WWII - uboat.net. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- U-118 at ubootwaffe.net